Owns Horse(s)? Yes
What does being a Kerrits Ambassador mean to you? I live to ride. As a teenager, all I can think about is my horse and how much fun I will have with him. In art class I was asked by my teacher to stop drawing horses and horse related things “expand” my drawings. I am not only dedicated to horses and the equine community, but in educating others to understand care, safety and compassion of the horse. My mom gives riding lessons, and I love listening to her talk about how to become one with the horse with her students. I have been fortunate enough to have many horses available to ride and have a pair that are my two main mounts that I compete on. I consider both of them my best friends and trust them more than I trust most people at school.
As I share my passion for horses, often people ask me how much time it takes to care for a horse, or how hard it is to ride one. I don’t lie or minimize it, because it is not easy or something that takes no time. But what I do tell them is that the time I spend on my horse, I will never have to spend in a therapist’s office, because it helps the soul. Horses heal; they help a day get better no matter what happened. On good days they make the day amazing. Investing time and energy into that is something I encourage everyone to do. I also tell people that you don’t have to do cross country like me, there are a million ways to spend time with you horse both competitively and causally all of which result in the same happy soul for you and the horse.
Right now there is a huge trend to combat mental illness such as PTSD with equine assisted therapy, which is wonderful. Being around horses and slowly working into a point in which a person can ride helps heal a person from a place in which they were so debilitated that they were incapacitated. I think that is great and talk about how powerful that connection can be! If that is not enough of a reason to ride, I don’t know what is! I talk about that often and I am even thinking about doing a senior project around a research project about that.
I love sharing my enthusiasm and helping to encourage others to explore how they can find an equine partner to fit their lifestyle so they can enjoy a little bit of happiness like I have. So lets get out there and TALLY HO!
What are your passions as a rider and ambassador? My passions as a rider have been multi-faceted lately.
I spend a large majority of my time participating in United States Pony Club. I ride in 3 Day Eventing Rallys, which include Cross Country, Stadium Jumping and Dressage. I have really focused on the Cross Country, because my horse seems to like it the most, as do I. Recently USPC added a Western Dressage division to their list of disciplines, and so I have also started riding that as well.
I also ride with a Womens Drill team. I was allowed to ride on this team of adults because my mom rides on the team. This is totally different from Pony Club because it is exclusively Western but is based on many of the same principles. I love how the crossovers of the two completely different disciplines are!
I also compete in 4-H with my horses. My mom encouraged me to do this because she said it was a different experience than Pony Club or open showing, both of which I have done for a few years now. I am doing English, Western, Jumping and Gaming in 4-H.
On a casual level, I love trail riding and go out at least once a month with mom someone where locally to ride. We both ride pretty well, and have ridden trails rated novice level to extreme/advance level together but we are fair weather riders and prefer to not ride in the rain, limiting the opportunities to get out on the trails sometimes.
While I work in a well rounded environment under so many different disciplines, I still maintain focus on preserving my horse’s attitude and mind. I feel like it’s the most important thing for the whole situation and I do things in my warm ups just to make sure he is having a good warm up. I’m obsessed with a quality ride, no matter what discipline I am riding and it started with not having a fight with my horse. So my true passion is my relationship with my horse, I love him (both of the ones I ride are geldings) and I want them to want to work for me. I am having fun and I get to choose what we do, so it’s important to me that they at least have fun doing it since they work their butt off while we work. Building and keeping that relationship, working on it, and strengthening it, that is my passion.
What is your connection to Kerrits? My first Kerrits apparel was a pair of breeches that mom bought at Wilco. I remember it being different because they came with carrot seeds. I was so excited to plant the seeds in the greenhouse in the spring. When we did and then transplanted them into the garden it was so cool to be able to have a row dedicated for the horses that I had grown from a pair of breeches! Sounds silly unless you know the complete connection.
Now I own multiple pairs and a vest. I love the stretchy and flexibility of the breeches and I have grown and built muscle they have stayed with me where some of my others pants have not. I wear my vest exclusively for Pony Club because I feel like it is my classy vest.
I didn’t know about the ambassador program until I was on the website looking for another vest recently. I’m excited!